12 Weeks No Nitrite Or Nitrate

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by CJRIO125, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. CJRIO125

    CJRIO125 New Member Member

    Hi all,

    New here, so apologies if I am asking a question already asked. I have a Rio 125. Let it run for a week before adding 4 minnows. It has been 2 weeks now and have minimal ammonia o.25 tops, no nitrite and no nitrate. I have been using bacterlife by water life as it came recommended. I am also using the api liquid kit.

    Any thoughts why there is no sign of nitrites yet?

    Thank you in advance
  2. EternalDancer

    EternalDancer Well Known Member Member

    I think that your ammonia is not getting up high enough, but I could be wrong.
  3. Shawnie

    Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    Sounds like it's still in the beginning stages of cycling. Minnows don't give off too much ammonia so it might take more time. I've seen it take up to seven or eight weeks went cycling with us. Good luck

  4. OP

    CJRIO125 New Member Member

    Thank you both for your answers.

    In this case is it just a case of carrying on as we are? We would like to increase the minnow numbers to six altogether and then add other community fish in at a later date (in stages after a cycle etc).

    Is it worth adding the two now due to low ammonia or will this cause dangerous levels?

    Again thank you for your help
  5. Shawnie

    Shawnie Fishlore Legend Member

    I don't think adding two more will make it crazy. Just keep an ion things because it's very stressful for fish with ammonia and the cycle process
  6. OP

    CJRIO125 New Member Member

    Hi everyone,

    I posted many weeks ago about how after 4 weeks there was still no sign of either NItrite or Nitrate. At the time I only had 3 minnows in the tank and was advised that my bioload was not enough, which made sense as I have a 125l tank.

    Since then I have had 7 minnnows in the tank and the Ammonia has raised to 1ppm (I am doing PWCs and using Bacterlife to combat this). To my great sadness, there is still no sign of the cycle starting, this is getting very disheartening at this stage.

    What could I be doing wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  7. Dirzo90

    Dirzo90 Valued Member Member

    Hello Chris, I would definitely change my bacteria supplement. I've heard Dr Tims one and only live nytrifying bacteria works.
  8. OP

    CJRIO125 New Member Member

    Thank you for your reply! Much appreciated! Since your last post I now suddenly have reducing ammonia, high nitrite and low/medium nitrate. So something has happened. Should I do a big water change or let it continue cycling? I'm worried water changes could have been the reason it was stalling?
  9. OP

    CJRIO125 New Member Member

    hello. Finally after 3 months, out of nowhere, I have nitrite and nitrate readings. Only fear is nitrite is 2/5ppm (hard to tell difference) and Nitrate is about 30ppm. Ammonia has reduced to 1ppm.

    Whilst I am relieved as it has taken 3 months I am worried about what to do at this point! 7 minnows are suddenly swimming slightly on their side (They have been fine up until now). I am also worried my water changes may have been stalling my cycle? I use dechlorinator though.

    Any help would be very much appreciated thanks
  10. Coradee

    Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi, the threads have been merged so all of the information is in one place.
  11. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    Great news you have nitrites. The end should be near. Nitrites are tough to read. Accurately dilute the sample with tap water assuming your tap has no nitrates or trites. Either with a med dosing syringe or measure in a larger container and mix it well. For example 1 part tank water to 3 part tap. Then multiple your result by four. If you are still reading say 1.0 nitrites, you know you have about 4ppm. Which is very high of course. Anyway you want to maintain a small ammonia source until the end. 1ppm is enough to keep the bacteria fed for now. Other than the sick minnows I think you are making progress. Nitrite probably took them out. Spiking nitrites can be stubborn for at least a week but they will literally disappear overnight. When my nitrites finally go away, my ammonia does too. I normally introduce ammnia one more time and make sure my ammonia and nitrites will go back to zero in 24hrs or less. Then a waterchange to cleanup nitrates and you are good. Nitrates can get pretty high without hurting your cycle at all IME.
  12. Lonewolf9395

    Lonewolf9395 Valued Member Member

    Hi. I think you should do a large water change and bring the nitrites down. That should help your fish. Now that you have both ammonia eating and nitrite eating bacteria growing in your filter doing water changes will not disturb your cycle. Your ammonia source is constant and bacteria are present so the cycle will continue. You need to worry about protecting your fish against high ammonia, nitrite or nitrate levels. That can be done through water changes.

    Edit: what are you using to dechlorinate? Can you get Seachems Prime?
  13. Kiks

    Kiks Well Known Member Member

    You should definitely do plenty of water changes. Your fish wont survive in water that has 2 - 5 ppm nitrites and ammonia at 1 ppm. Also what are you using to test your water? 2 - 5 ppm nitrites is a pretty inaccurate reading.

    As someone else has already mentioned, the reason why it took so long for your cycle to start is because your ammonia source wasn't producing enough ammonia. When you cycle without fish you usually dose up to 1 - 2 ppm ammonia and let it drop to 0.25. Once it drops to 0.25 you dose again. Keeping ammonia at a constant 0.25 is just not enough.

    If I were you I'd try to keep my water at 0.50 ammonia or less, 0.50 nitrite or less and 1 - 20 nitrate.
  14. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    That sounds good but in large tank that amounts to 90% water changes to keep nitrites at .50 during the spike. 50% WCs don't get it done uless you do 3 per day. And it goes on for days. This fact supports your argument for a fishless cycle. I put a ridiculous effort into protecting fish in a 60G cycle. Only lost one fish but the effort required was insane. 5G tank, no big deal.
  15. Kiks

    Kiks Well Known Member Member

    I agree and you're completely right. Cycling with fish is a ridiculous amount of work if you wanna keep ammonia and nitrite below 0.50 ppm. This is why I always advise to go fishless.
  16. Tim68

    Tim68 Valued Member Member

  17. OP

    CJRIO125 New Member Member

    Firstly I am so so sorry! I never got any notifications so completely missed these posts. Thank you all for your time and replies it is really appreciated!!

    Secondly an update: my ammonia has come right down to .25 and now zero. Nitrites are between .25/.50 definitely closer to .25 and nitrates about 10/20

    I am still using API test kit, bacterlife but have changed dechlorinator to interpret ...the name escapes me.

    I think the above means I am nearly there. To confirm, it is all done when I get 0 0 and 20-30 right?

    Thank you all so much again

    Also as for live plants i have avoided them so far as I just wanted to get the base right first. It may sound daft but I do really fancy getting some moss balls. I see that shrimps love them in the pet stores and I do fancy some shrimps. Thinking amano.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  18. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    O-O and any nitrates is good. Nitrates may be much higher if you are dosing until the end. If so a massive WC is needed to clear them.
  19. OP

    CJRIO125 New Member Member

    Great stuff. I wait in great anticipation for my nitrites to join my ammonia on zero. Thanks On The Fly. By the way please could I get your thoughts on a few stocking thoughts I am having?
  20. Dave125g

    Dave125g Fishlore Legend Member

    Whats your PH ? A PH below 7 takes forever to cycle as bacteria has a difficult time reproducing.

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